Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


When students enter a bachelor program in occupational therapy, they engage in a variety of learning activities. To explore students’ perceptions of learning activities, this qualitative study investigated the experiences of six first year students participating in an occupational therapy study program at a Norwegian university. The students took part in two focus group interviews. The interview analysis focused on meaning and ended up with three main themes: 1) Getting to know each other through collaborative learning activities, 2) Engaging in classroom learning activities, and 3) Approaching the syllabus and doing assignments. The study concludes that early engagement in social and collaborative learning activities can be a meaningful prerequisite to future learning focused on meaning and feeling safe in the learning environment. Teaching styles also influence students’ engagement in the occupation of studying, with the change from one teaching style to another being particularly challenging for the students.


Mona Asbjørnslett, PhD is an occupational therapist spezialized in the field of children, disability and participation in everyday life. She is currently Associate Professor at Oslo Metropolitan University.

Helen Bull, PhD is an occupational therapist specialized in the field of adult mental health and occupational participation. She is currently Associate professor at Oslo Metropolitan University.

Gry Mørk, MSc is a senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the Faculty of Health Studies at VID Specialized University in Sandnes, Norway. Her research interest is teaching and learning in higher education, especially related to occupational therapy students and their learning environment.

Tore Bonsaksen, MSc is professor of mental health in the Department of Health and Nursing Sciences at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, and professor of occupational therapy in the Department of Health at VID Specialized University. His research interests include mental health and its related factors in various populations, occupational health, and teaching and learning in higher education.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.